Shortly after the Civil War, Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) is a former slave. A poltergeist terrorizes her house, causing her two sons to leave. Later, when Sethe lives alone with her daughter, Denver, Paul D. (Danny Glover), an old friend from the plantation, drives off the angry spirit. They agree Paul should stay. Then, Beloved (Thandie Newton), a young woman, walks into Sethe's yard, also staying.
Denver is happy having Beloved around, but soon finds out she is the reincarnated daughter of Sethe, which she doesn't reveal to her. Beloved, knowing Paul dislikes her, immobilizes him one night with a spell and sexually assaults him. Paul intends to tell Sethe, but doesn't. Stamp Paid tells Paul Sethe's story.
Years ago, pregnant with her fourth child, Sethe planned to escape. Her children were sent off earlier to Sethe's mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, but Sethe stayed behind to locate her husband. While searching for him, Sethe was raped by the nephews of Schoolteacher, the owner of the plantation. She told his sister-in-law, who confronted him. Schoolteacher whipped Sethe in retaliation. When her husband wouldn't come, Sethe ran off alone, eventually reaching Baby Sugg's home. But Schoolteacher came to reclaim Sethe and her children. Desperate, Sethe slit her older daughter's throat and attempted to kill the others. Stamp succeeded in stopping her and Schoolteacher decided to leave them alone.
Paul, horrified, now understands the presence of the poltergeist, and criticizes Sethe. She claims her children would have been better off dead than enslaved. Paul leaves in protest. Sethe comes to realize that Beloved is the reincarnation of her eldest daughter. Her presence however causes the relationships in the household to deteriorate. Eventually, Denver leaves and when she finds employment, some women from church come to visit Sethe's house, asked by a colleague of Denver, to conduct an exorcism. The women are praying loudly, when Denver's employer arrives to come pick her up and go to work. Sethe spots him and, thinking of Schoolteacher's arrival, attacks him, but is subdued. In the commotion, Beloved disappears. Sethe becomes bedridden.
When Paul returns to Sethe's house sometime after, he finds her in bed. He promises Sethe that he and Denver will take care of her. Sethe tells him she doesn't see any point in that, since Beloved has left. Paul tells Sethe that she herself is her own beloved.
Best part of story, including ending:
The haunted, poltergeist, supernatural aspects of it were not my cup of tea.
Best scene in story:
Where Paul tells Sethe she is her own beloved.
Opinion about the main character:
She has been through so much and finally breaks, altough she is not alone.